Archive of ‘Lifestyle’ category

Schools In

It’s been along time between drinks. As you can see I freshened up the page then disappeared. But we’re all good, I’m back to inflict myself on the world again.

I would love to say I spent my time in hiding on a luxury yacht sailing the Carribbean, or in a charming chateau in the south of France, but no. It was far more mundane than that. But I have done something very exciting this past weekend. Which is why I thought I would get back on the blog and share my excitement and enthusiasm.

IMG_2977

Yesterday I attended the Science of Styling class run by the gorgeous Megan Morton at The School in Rosebery. if you don’t know Megan, Google her right now. Buy her books. She is one of the most amazingly talented people on the planet. She is in strictest terms a stylist but she is much more than that- a curator of the most beautiful things, author, teacher. She runs so many amazing classes at The School, but I have been eyeing this one out for a while. Im certainly not a stylist in the making (not for a lack of wanting to be- selecting beautiful things with other people’s money all day everyday? Talk about dream job), I just don’t have enough creativity or talent. But I do love beautiful things and putting together beautiful things and that is what lies at the heart of styling. So this is what led me to sign up for the last class of the year. I’m not going to lie, it was an intense day- the workshop starts at 10AM and it finished at 4:30PM. An amazing lunch by Kitchen by Mike is provided, as well delicious refreshments throughout the day (Pat & Sticks Ice Cream Sandwiches. Oh my God, how can I never have known of their existence before???).

Photo courtesy of The School Facebook page. I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures.

Photo courtesy of The School Facebook page. I was too busy stuffing my face to take pictures.

10377266_714671728612221_6453317460092223787_n

Morning Tea (photo via The School Facebook page)

The Science of Styling covers the basic principles of what it is to be a stylist, what a stylist actually does, how to create beautiful photographs (of interiors, vignettes and people), the process of styling, an introduction into how the industry works, what makes a successful photo (and what doesn’t) as well as plenty of other useful things. It’s suited to beginners (like me) as well as people that already have some basic knowledge. It won’t make you a professional stylist but it will give you a foundation to work on should you go down that path. There is an accompanying class “Styling Inspiration” that is more project focused and it is certainly on my agenda next year.

10006381_714671645278896_2308969045815716369_n

Photo Via The School Facebook page

So now that I have spent a whole day looking at and studying beautiful images (and eating delectable food) I have been scouring the internet for inspiration and playing with all of the rooms in my house to try and bring the beauty back into the everyday. I’m not going to lie, it’s a nice way to spend a Sunday before the realities of the week set in.

Enjoy your Sunday x

Lost…and found.

This weeks writing challenge was about lost art. It seemed rather prescient as I had recently been thinking about the lost art of the catch up. Meeting up for a coffee, afternoon tea, evening drinks, dinner with friends, even long phone conversations. I’m sure plenty of people still do this, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I did. And a quick survey of my friends reveals I am not the only one that draws a blank. Which is strange, as in my late teens through to my mid twenties, I was a constant fixture at my local cafes (and it wasn’t like it is now, all hipster and shit. They were still daggy 90’s style with cappuccinos so frothy you’d put a flag in the top like Everest). But, slowly, as life started to get more hectic, work become more demanding, time just started slipping away. The friend I used to meet weekly for coffee, I then saw monthly, and then we were lucky if we met up every couple of months. The semi-regular dinners with one group of friends turned into a twice yearly thing- Easter & Christmas get together. Meeting for drinks on a Friday or Saturday night just disappeared off the radar together- the victim of a combination of a lack of interesting (read: non RSL club) drinking establishments locally, terrible traffic to get into the city to better places and an overwhelming desire to simply stay home in my trackies with takeaway.

Image

But we were still catching up, right? On the phone, via text…but then the long conversations on the phone phone that were a weekly thing to replace the coffee date turned into a quick text. Then the text turned into a short Facebook wall post after perusing that persons profile to glean details of the key events in their lives.

Then came parenthood and all bets were off. Sure, there was the occasional paying a friend a visit, or texting back and forth, or in the case of a few close friends, a game of phone tag, where after three days of a constant stream of missed calls (and one you ignored because your kid was screaming blue murder and had no intention of stopping and you didn’t think it fair to subject anyone to that), you’d just give up.

It seems that I am not alone in this. I don’t know wether it’s endemic of my age group or just our generation in general, or society at large but all too often you hear people lamenting how its ben so long since they saw this friend, or they haven’t spoken to that friend in months. We can blame social media to a point- Facebook and Instagram have made it all too easy for us to feel like we have already seen what people are up to and have “virtually” caught up with their life in their timeline, but that is only part of the problem. Another factor is the “busy syndrome”- everyone’s every waking hour seems to be filled. Are we really that chronically busy that we have let friendships fall by the wayside? Most people I spoke to seemed to have core group of a few family/friends they spoke to and saw regularly, the rest kind of drifted into a sea of “sometimes”. But no one, myself included, could put their finger on just when or how we got so “busy”. And what it is exactly that we are busy doing.

All this came to head for me last week. I was in the city and I walked past a place where there was once a bar I frequented in my misspent youth. It’s no longer there and I can’t even remember the name of it, despite the fact it was one of our favourite and most visited venues. But it reminded me of the good times (possibly too good, given the memory loss) I had and one of my very good friends who was part of those times. She moved interstate years ago and for a while we had been good at catching up- infrequent visits punctuated by long calls and texts. But then we kind of lost touch and I realised, while standing in the middle of Pitt St, that I hadn’t spoken to her in over two years. It wasn’t like we had a fight, or drifted apart due to vastly different lives, it was just a case of us both being so caught up that we kept thinking “oh, I must call her” and never getting around to it. And I did exactly that and kept walking.

Then the following day I was at a local coffee place getting my morning elixir of life (incidentally one of the many hipster hidey holes which didn’t exist back in the day when I actually used go out for coffee) and as I was waiting for the takeaway flat white I did what we all do when killing time waiting for our barista:  scrolled through Facebook. And another friend, whom I used to work with, and loved dearly, cropped up. And I also hadn’t had a conversation with her in two years either.

The kicker for me was that neither of these two people, who I really valued and cared about despite the circumstances, had ever met my daughter.

So I stopped scrolling through the pictures of acquaintances’ holidays and videos of cats and wrote them both a message. I decided then and there to revive the art of the catch up. Be it a good, old fashioned ear burning phone conversation or after work coffee or a lady lunch, I was going to get through the list of people I wanted to see, starting with those two beautiful ladies. One of them I managed to organise lunch date with this long weekend and the interstate friend, after a few long messages and some phone tag I finally managed to have a hour and a half phone conversation with, with a definite long lunch planned for Christmas time. Then when I got home, I called one of my closest friends whom I haven’t seen in two months and finally had a chat to her and organised a play date for our kids. Then Monday after work I stopped by another friends for afternoon tea.

I haven’t got to everyone, but I think for a week I’ve made good headway.

So here’s to reviving the lost art of catching up, whatever from it may take. Long lunch, afternoon tea, fancy dinner, pub crawl, bar hopping or simply a coffee.

Silence is golden

Browsing through the WordPress site, I stumbled on this weekly writing challenge and the last week’s theme was The Sound of Silence. I know it’s a little late but it’s been on my mind. I’d recently read a blog post from Blithely Unaware (one of my favourites) about motherhood and the toddler stage and she mentioned silence being a massive virtue. It struck a chord. My house is full noise. My darling A is 10 months and in the words of her speech pathologist “very vocally advanced”. I’m not saying that shit to be smug, I’m just so proud of how far my baby has come from a kid that had feeding issues and needed treatment and who was at high risk for speech problems later (which many many kids with these feeding issues have) to one that is jabbering away at a level beyond her. I owe enormous gratitude to her speech pathologist for a lot of it. I also sometimes, when the noise is incessant, almost wish she hadn’t done quite so good a job.

But the value I place on quiet time goes beyond that of a first time mum needing a few minutes to think and recoup. As a teacher, I know that silence can be a seriously undervalued commodity. The gift of keeping a class of rowdy adolescents relatively quiet is not one that came naturally but I made sure I worked hard to acquire it or I would not have survived the first few years of teaching. In the early days, I would come home and just sit in the quiet. I wouldn’t turn on the television. I would make a cup of tea and just sit in peaceful, silent bliss. I didn’t want to talk and rehash my day and I didn’t want to hear about M’s day. M found it frustrating, but those first 15 minutes after I got home were non negotiable.  I remember times, after a full on teaching day of back to back lessons of thirty plus kids in a small classroom, that I would drive home in absolute silence. No radio. No iPod. Just the soft whirr of the engine for the hour trip home. It was restorative and rejuvenating.

I often think that in general, people place a high value on silence but very rarely take time to enjoy it. Its a total cliché, but amongst the chaos of our modern everyday existence, taking those moments for ourselves can be very difficult to justify. But when it all gets to much, we often then look to fixes like meditation to try and “centre” ourselves. I often think that the meditation can almost amount to window dressing. The silence is often all thats needed. But we need to be able to appreciate it. I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve been able to sit in the quiet and instead have turned on the television, or radio, or played with my phone. Until I get to a point where the chaos and noise becomes overwhelming and I crave silence. The thing about silence is that it isn’t always something that accompanies solitude, although they can co exist quite perfectly. Silence among a companions can almost be a measure of the strength of the relationship. If it doesn’t require words or noise to fill the void, then it is probably made of stronger stuff.

There is a reason they call it peace and quiet. They are two concepts that overlap and can be almost synonymous. Here’s to the golden moments.